Game Preview: Hershey at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 3:05 p.m.
Sunday, March 18, 2018, 3:05 p.m.
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
REFEREES: Andrew Howard (50), Terry Koharski (10)
LINESMEN: Tom DellaFranco (71), Matt McNulty (26)
Broadcast Information (Pre-game 2:35 p.m.)
RADIO: WQIC-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Zack Fisch, the Voice of the Bears, on the call
LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream
WATCH LIVE: AHLLive.com
LAST TIME OUT: Hershey earned a 4-2 victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds last night at the Giant Center. The Bears scored three goals in the second period en route to the victory. After falling down 1-0 on an Anthony Greco goal in the first period, Nathan Walker tied the game just 52 seconds into the second period on a wrap-around. The Thunderbirds got a goal from Dryden Hunt to retake the lead, but Hershey bolted right back, as Dustin Gazley struck shorthanded, and Walker scored again to give the Bears a 3-2 lead heading into the third period. Wayne Simpson added an insurance marker in the final frame, and Vitek Vanecek was sensational in goal with 22 saves. The Penguins were also in action last night, suffering a rare loss at home to the Hartford Wolf Pack, 4-1. Daniel Sprong had the lone goal for the Penguins, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went 0-for-5 on the power play.
LAST TIME VS. BABY PENS: The Bears were on the wrong side of a close game the last time these two teams met. Hershey fell 3-2 to the Penguins on Feb. 25 at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The two teams traded goals in the opening three minutes as Riley Barber and Tom Kostopoulos scored 51 seconds apart. Tyler Graovac also scored for the Bears, but Adam Johnson had two tallies for the Penguins, including the game-winner at 10:06 of the third period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot Hershey 25-24.
THREE IN A ROW?: Hershey goes for its first clean sweep of a three in three this afternoon. This weekend marks Hershey's 11th and final three in three this season. The Bears have not won all three games in a three in three this year. The closest Hershey came to this feat was winning three games in four days when they swept the road trip to Canada, beating Laval on Feb. 16, Belleville on Feb. 17, and Toronto on Feb. 19.
NATHAN AT 99: Forward Nathan Walker scored twice yesterday, notching his second multi-goal game of the year. The forward enters today's game at 99 career points in his AHL career, posting 43 goals and 56 assists in 234 career games with the Chocolate and White. The Aussie has struck for 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 32 contests this season. Walker has also played nine NHL games this year, including seven with Washington and two with Edmonton.
THE SPECIAL TEAMS BATTLE: In nine prior meetings between Hershey and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season, the Penguins have an edge in the special teams department. The Bears have entered today only capitalizing four times on 43 chances on the man-advantage this season against the Pens. On the flip side, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 6-for-31 on the power play against Hershey this season. The last time Hershey scored a power play goal against their I-81 rival was on December 10. Tyler Graovac scored the lone goal in a 4-1 setback at Giant Center. Since then, the Bears are 0-for-their-last-20 against the Penguins.
TORMENTING THE BEARS: No player on the active Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins roster has come close to matching the success of Daniel Sprong against the Bears. In eight games this season against the Chocolate and White, Sprong has grabbed four goals and eight assists for 12 points, leading either side in scoring. Next in line after Sprong are five players, all tied with five points against Hershey in the season series. From the get-go, Sprong has had Hershey’s number. In his first career appearance against the Bears in the opening game of the 2016 Atlantic Division Finals, Sprong scored twice in a 4-0 Penguins win over Hershey at Giant Center on May 4, 2016.
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